Ask Sam Mailbag: 05.19.17

Thoughts on the lotto? Celts and Lakers going after PG and Butler? Or will they both wait till they are FA in 2018?
Mike Sutera

Let's talk about denying championships. Between 1991 and 1998 the only way to win a championship was to be on Jordan's team or play for the Rockets while he was retired or not back to form. Between 2010 and 2016 (Lebrons's Finals run thus far), Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, etc. all won championships. The examples they gave for Lebron (denying championships to) were Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Am I just romanticizing the Bulls 90s run?
Brian Patterson

Was it intentional by ZaZa? Kawhi says it wasn't, but was he wrong to say that?
Kieron Smith

My cousin tried to convince me that the Warriors were going to make "small-ball" a trend in the NBA. I said no - and the Warriors lost last season when Lebron's size was key to defending against the Warriors guards after they lost Drammond proved once again that size and athleticism are important.

Shooting can only take you so far - because even great shooters get tired in a 7 game series and will miss shots - so you need the size and rebounding to give you more scoring opportunities and to defend against great players.

This may be why Justin Patton looks like a mobile athlete - not just a tall guy that a coach walked up to in the hallway and said, "How about you join the basketball team?". This is the future of the NBA with Anthony Davis being one of the best future players in the league, and Giannis and Karl Anthony Towns developing as 7 footers, the future is a agile athlete like Justin who has 7ft length, can run fast breaks like the ShowTime Lakers, but also post up and give you Kevin McHale frontline scoring/rebounding.
LongGiang Le

If they did go with Mitchell like in your mock draft, where does Valentine fit in? I thought he would be the 2 guard of the future? Don’t see Valentine playing the 3 or in the point guard. I have a feeling the Bulls will go with another PF as they could lose Mirotic.
Randall Sanders

Being from Australia I don’t watch much college basketball (not that I overly enjoy it when I do – time out after time out!) so I am in no position to really comment on any draft prospects. But I did manage to see a few Kansas games being shown in Australia and maybe it was just by chance, but Frank Mason III stood out like a sore thumb as the best player on the court each time I saw him play. He showed great composure and decision making, looked like he could push the ball in transition, penetrate in the half court and had a beautiful/confident shooting stroke. All draft projections have him going mid to late second round – I am assuming that this is mostly due to his size? I wonder, as a four year senior from a winning program would he be on the Bulls radar as their possible second round pick as PG backup to Rondo assuming he is retained. Seems like he would be able to contribute straight away as an NBA player.
Andrew Robson

I'm not sure Donovan Mitchell is the way to go bringing in an undersized two-guard while already having Denzel Valentine and point guards in Payne and Grant - both of whom come off the bench. In fact Luke Kennard would be the only shooting guard I would consider however I think #16 is probably too high to get him. It's interesting that you have Justin Jackson listed at #14. Mock drafts have him listed closer to #20 overall. Could he be someone for the Bulls to target as a two-guard/SF combo player? There is a lot of talk surrounding the Bulls getting a big man with the #16 overall selection - Allen, Patton, Collins, Leaf, Kuzma, Rabb, Giles, Idebayo. The two players in the second round that I think Chicago should target based on everything that I have read on them are Sindarius Thornwell and Ike Anigbogu. Do you think there is a possibility that the Bulls may look to trade up or trade down in the first round or trade out of the draft all together?
Tom Pionowski

We should grab Carmelo for the 16th pick and something else. I don't know if we'd get a ring. But it would definitely be more fun to watch. He can score.
Ryan Carpel

If you're the Bulls, do you want to pay Butler the supermax when he's pushing thirty? The difference between the max and supermax is significant as far as salary cap, and Butler is a guy who gets nicked up every year and is not a great shooter.
Alejandro Yegros